Inside and Outside

Illustration by Khara Scott Bey

Illustration by Khara Scott Bey

Working for justice in the world begins on the inside.

We live in a culture addicted to power, growth and control. While these elements affect each of us differently, depending on our race, class or gender (among other things), they ultimately influence us all. In order to step outside of injustice and into the Kingdom of God, we need to wake up to the full spectrum of reality around and within us.

For instance, it was easy for me to assume that my life experience and knowledge, alongside good intentions and spirit-led values, were enough to build a strong inner foundation for my work in the world. This was not true. I had to learn to recognize systemic abuses of money and power. Likewise, I needed to look deeply inside to notice my own assumptions and to clearly see when my behaviors (subtle or obvious) were not in alignment with my values.

Diverse, in-depth community was the context in which I was able to do this kind of waking up to and unhooking from the distress of our culture’s oppression.  In that community, I discovered the truth that we are all part of a much greater fabric, one that includes the voices of our ancestors, the hopes of our descendants and the messy and miraculous humanity of our contemporaries around the globe.

Honestly sharing stories of our experiences, perspectives and assumptions across our differences has the power to break down the walls that divide us.

These are words I’d like to shout from the mountain tops, announcing the message I’d like to share and the path I’d like to walk. What would your message to the world sound like?